Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, has weighed in against the planned Nord Stream 2 pipeline to bring more Russian gas to Germany, urging strict regulation of a project he fears will strengthen Moscow.
In a forthright letter to the European Commission, seen by the Financial Times, Mr Tusk expressed his “negative view” of the proposed pipeline under the Baltic Sea, saying it would “not serve the best European interest” and leave Ukraine “at Russia’s mercy”.
Addressed to Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president, the letter shows the divisions in the EU over Nord Stream 2, which is owned by Gazprom, the Russian gas group. Brussels is struggling to exert influence over the project, which is backed by Germany but strongly opposed by Poland and other states that do not want to extend their dependence on Russian gas.
Mr Tusk notes that allowing the pipeline to be built would run “opposite” to EU and commission efforts to bolster energy security in the wake of Russian aggression in Ukraine in 2014.